Almost half of North West businesses (47%) are planning to export for the first time or enter a new market in the next six months, according to the latest Business Barometer report by Lloyds Bank.
While boosting sales (32%) or profits (27%) are the most popular reasons for doing so, 17% say they have considered exporting due to existing demand from overseas, while 20% want to mitigate for weak domestic demand.
Less than a third (31%) say they don’t currently export and don’t intend to over the next six months.
In contrast, 44% say that they would be confident about exporting for the first time or into a new market in the next six months, compared with just 21% who describe themselves as unconfident.
North West businesses are also more optimistic about Brexit than the UK average; with the positivity figure of 42% outstripping the UK average of 33%.
Richard Evans, North West area director for Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking, said: “It’s encouraging to see that exporting plays an important part in North West firms’ growth plans over the next six months.
“The fact that 47% of North West businesses are looking to either start up or expand their export operations shows the desire for our region to take advantage of the appetite for our products and services abroad.
“Diversification into overseas markets can reduce exposure to UK business cycles and with the fall in the value of the pound since Brexit making a lot of British exports more attractive overseas I’m certain that there are many opportunities for North West exporters to prosper globally with the right support.”